Monday, August 11, 2008

"Can you dig it?"

The small Oklahoma town my wife grew up in was just a tad larger than my small town is now.

A few years back when we were on the hunt for a small town to call our own, we briefly toyed with the idea of looking at houses near where she grew up. However in the intervening 18 years since she had fled the panhandle state, her little town had sprawled to a staggering 12,000 townsfolk and no longer offered the small town experience that she now craved for our family unit.

Her childhood memory scrapbook is filled with swim lessons at the local park pool, tromping off to the "boondocks" with a piece of raw bacon tied to the end of string to catch crawdads down at the creek, and holiday parades where she knew just about everyone marching or riding a float.

And dance lessons at the Moose.

Moose lodge #1785 that is.

In the 23 years we've been together, I thought I had heard every painful (there were many) and triumphant (a few sprinkled in) tale to be generated from her pre-teen tap, jazz, and ballet dance classes at the Moose.

Not quite.

After cheering for, then screaming with the American men's 4x100 Freestyle relay team as they bested the trash-talkin' rival French team by 8/10ths of a second, S went to take a soak in a hot water filled clawfoot where she learned the news that Isaac Hayes had passed away (yes, we have a tv mounted within optimal viewing direction of the tub...don't ask). For reasons unknown to me at that moment, the news of the passing of the creator of the "Theme from Shaft," sent my wife into a quiet funk.

It was more than a few moments after hearing the news that I heard my wife break out into her own melancholy rendition of Mr. Haye's wonderful but lessor known, I just don't know what to do with myself."

Okay, what's the story here?

Turns out she had practiced and performed an emotional jazz routine to this song as an impressionable small-town dance student. Isaac's soulful lyrics and to-the-bone singing style must have resonated deep within her, for even 30-something years later, she did a total recall on the entire song, beginning to end.

When asked, she could only remember a few of the dance moves that went along with the song, but the lyrics were imprinted into the depths of her soul.

Now, I'm forever teasing my wife about what I've always considered her limited "soul for soul music," seeing as how the soundtrack of her formative youthful years was filled with REO Speedwagon and Journey.

Then out of the past comes the deep baritone voice announcing that perhaps there is some "soul for soul" in my Wife after all.

Rest in peace Isaac. Enjoy your jam session with Jimmy, Elvis, Buddy, John, George and all the others.

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